GOL Announces December 2009 Traffic Figures

Jan 08, 2010, 08:51 ET from GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A.

SAO PAULO, Jan. 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A. (NYSE: GOL; BM&FBOVESPA: GOLL4), Latin America's largest low-cost and low-fare airline, announces its preliminary traffic figures for December 2009.

Management Comments

In December, GOL's air traffic demand grew by 34.8% in relation to the same period last year, reflecting both the company's better positioning in its markets in 2009 (higher frequency and regularity between Brazil's main airports, strong cost advantages, the revitalization of SMILES, Latin America's largest mileage program, and other factors), and increased demand, which was driven primarily by Brazil's economy's recovery signs.

Consequently, domestic market demand grew by 36.2% in relation to December 2008, and by 14.7% in relation to November 2009, reflecting the seasonal increase in demand, given the fact that the summer high season begins in December and the higher number of days in the month (30 days in November, versus 31 in December). Average daily demand was 11.0% higher in relation to the same period.

International demand was up 23.9% in relation to December 2008, mainly reflecting the adjustments to the Company's international network, which sought to improve this segment's profitability by launching new routes between Brazil and the Caribbean with flights to Aruba and Curacao, and the adjustments to the frequency of flights to Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Bolivia and Venezuela. In addition, international traffic benefited from the decline in the U.S. dollar exchange rate and the economic recovery in Brazil and South America. International traffic also recorded nominal growth of 17.5% in relation to November, impacted by seasonality and the higher number of days in the month (average daily traffic rose 13.7%).

As a result, in December of 2009, GOL registered a total load factor of 76.3%. The load factor was 77.1% in the domestic market and 70.3% in the international market. The load factor in the international market was 21.4 percentage points higher than the 48.9% posted in December 2008, and 5.7 p.p. higher than the 64.6% in November 2009.

                             December  December    % Chg   November   % Chg
    Operating Data            2009*      2008*     (YoY)    2009*     (MoM)
    Total System
      ASK (mm) (1)            3,702.9   3,240.8    14.3%   3,433.5     7.8%
      RPK (mm) (2)            2,827.0   2,097.3    34.8%   2,458.1    15.0%
      Load Factor(3)            76.3%     64.7%  +11.6pp     71.6%   +4.7pp
    Domestic Market
      ASK (mm) (1)            3,278.6   2,748.1    19.3%   3,040.5     7.8%
      RPK (mm) (2)            2,528.7   1,856.6    36.2%   2,204.1    14.7%
      Load Factor (3)           77.1%     67.6%   +9.5pp     72.5%   +4.6pp
    International Market
      ASK (mm) (1)              424.3     492.7   -13.9%       393     8.0%
      RPK (mm) (2)              298.3     240.7    23.9%     253.9    17.5%
      Load Factor (3)           70.3%     48.9%  +21.4pp     64.6%   +5.7pp

( * ) Data for December 2009 is preliminary; Data from the National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) for December 2008 and November 2009.

GOL has been maintaining its disciplined strategy of expanding capacity in order to maximize its operating income. In December, the company expanded its domestic capacity by 19.3%, while demand increased by 36.2%. This strategy was clearly more effective in the international market, where GOL contracted its capacity by 13.9%, while demand increased by 23.9%.

As a result of the gradual recovery in yields following the scenario of increased price competition, net yield showed recovery once again in December, reaching slightly more than R$19.00 cents. This brought the net yield to approximately R$18.00 cents in the fourth quarter of 2009 and to just above R$20.00 cents in the whole of 2009.

    Operating Data               4T09      4T08   % Chg        3T09    % Chg
    Total System - Quarter
      ASK (mm) (1)            10,592.0   9,460.1    12.0%   10,212.7     3.7%
      RPK (mm) (2)             7,770.8   5,629.1    38.0%    6,705.8    15.9%
      Load Factor (3)            73.4%     59.5%  +13.9pp      65.7%   +7.7pp

    Operating Data                2009       2008    % Chg
    Total System - Year
      ASK (mm) (1)             39,988.0   41,106.9    -2.7%
      RPK (mm) (2)             26,095.6   25,308.1     3.1%
      Load Factor (3)             65.3%      61.6%   +3.7pp

(1) Available seat kilometers (ASK) is the sum of the products obtained by multiplying the number of seats available on each flight stage by the distance of the average flight stage.

(2) Revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) is the sum of the products obtained by multiplying the number of revenue passengers carried on each flight stage by the average stage distance.

(3) Load factor is the percentage of aircraft seating capacity effectively used, which is calculated by dividing the number of passenger-kilometers flown by the number of seat-kilometers available.

About GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A

GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A. (NYSE: GOL; Bovespa: GOLL4), the largest low-cost and low-fare airline in Latin America, offers around 800 daily flights to 49 destinations that connect all the important cities in Brazil and ten major destinations in South America and Caribbean. The Company operates a young, modern fleet of Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft, the safest and most comfortable of its class, with high aircraft utilization and efficiency levels. Fully committed to seeking innovative solutions through the use of cutting-edge technology, the Company -- via its GOL, VARIG, GOLLOG, SMILES and VOE FACIL brands -- offers its clients easy payment facilities, a wide range of complementary services and the best cost-benefit ratio in the market.

This release contains forward-looking statements relating to the prospects of the business, estimates for operating and financial results, and those related to growth prospects of GOL. These are merely projections and, as such, are based exclusively on the expectations of GOL's management concerning the future of the business and its continued access to capital to fund the Company's business plan. Such forward-looking statements depend, substantially, on changes in market conditions, government regulations, competitive pressures, the performance of the Brazilian economy and the industry, among other factors and risks disclosed in GOL's filed disclosure documents and are, therefore, subject to change without prior notice.

    Investor Relations
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